Keywords: 29er,700c,sram etap,superlight bike

FEATHERLIGHT U.P.P.E.R. - PART 3

Andy Kessler - 15-May-2020
In the first part of this BOTM series I explained you why we build that super light kind of gravel/road/offroad U.P.P.E.R for the Gran Fondo Magazine. I know, it was a strange project, and I know it is also kind of strange if a gravel bike with 6.4 kilograms is lighter than all the road bikes in the test. Yes, there were some cheaper ones also but there were some with a similar price tag. What we just wanted to show actually is the versatility of the U.P.P.E.R (and U.P.). Both of them are kind of a Swiss Army Pocket knife....many many options.



When we build frames/forks they are light but we would never do a compromise for comfort and riding pleasure.

A good example for that is our U-Turn fork that we use both on the U.P.P.E.R and U.P. The goal was not only to make one of the lightest gravel forks out there but also a fork that is compliant and has good side stiffness.  Here is a pretty impressive test from gravel bike.cc on that fork.

I get often the question if I would put a suspension fork on a gravel bike. There are good gravel suspension forks (actually MTB forks with reduced travel) out there but they are just too heavy with weights around 1.4kg. They kill the character of a gravel bike and only bring joy on very technical downhills. There are other forks out there that are better in weight but have only suspension and no dampening. If you want more suspension you can just move to a bigger tyre (you also get around 2-4cm of travel). Thats basically the same: suspension without a lot of dampening for a fraction of the weight.

I came somehow off the path, actually this last blog should be about detail specifications here they are:

size L
frame U.P.P.E.R.
headset Cane Creek AER series
fork OPEN U-Turn 
stem  THM Tibia 100mm
handlebar THM Ulna 44cm, Natural Carbon
handlebar grip Fabric
seatpost THM Mandibula 400mm
saddle MCFK
brakes SRAM RED ETAP AXS D1, Rotor 160f/140r
shifters SRAM RED ETAP AXS D1
crank  THM Clavicula SE, 175mm
BB SRAM DUB BB 386
chainrings CARBON TI
front and rear derailleur SRAM RED ETAP AXS D1
cassette SRAM XG 1290 D1, 10-33
chain SRAM RED D1
wheel MCFK Gravel 700
tire Rene Herse Bon Jon Pass 700 x 35mm Extralight
weight 6.4kg

Comments & Questions

OPEN
Hi, where can I purchase a feather light U.P.P.E.R.? Thanks!
Post #1 of 17. Posted by Steve Pugh on 15-May-2020 11:33:27 GMT in reply to blog [0<--22219]
OPEN
Hi Steve, can you please send me a mail and I can gide you to a dealer than can build you an UPPER: andy@opencycle.com
Post #8 of 17. Posted by Andy Kessler on 16-May-2020 10:34:57 GMT in reply to post #1 [22219<--22226]
OPEN
Hi, where can I purchase a feather light U.P.P.E.R.? Thanks!
Post #2 of 17. Posted by Steve Pugh on 15-May-2020 11:33:30 GMT in reply to blog [0<--22220]
OPEN
Are you folks at Open aware of any Shimano 1X crankset/chainring combo that would permit me to run a 1X set up on one of your frames using a 36T or even a 34T front chainring? Not interested in Sram, Rotor, or Praxis options. Thanks, Joe
Post #3 of 17. Posted by Joe B on 15-May-2020 11:47:02 GMT in reply to blog [0<--22221]
OPEN
Shimano GRX crankset was designed for 1X option or even shimano Duraace crankset can be use as 1X..just a google Away
Post #4 of 17. Posted by Ed Gabon on 15-May-2020 13:35:02 GMT in reply to post #3 [22221<--22222]
OPEN
Thanks Ed. Problem is all of the 1X chainring options I have found for current generation Shimano road and GRX gravel cranksets only have 38 tooth options and higher. Wolftooth does have a 36t option for previous generation Shimano road cranksets, but it does not work with the current generation of Shimano road asymmetrical 4 hole spiders. And the Shimano GRX crankset is not offered by Shimano in a 34 or 36 tooth option. Only 40 and 42T.
Post #6 of 17. Posted by Joe B on 15-May-2020 14:27:41 GMT in reply to post #4 [22222<--22224]
OPEN
Joe,Looks like you’re looking for an MTB setup,34T front ring is totally way to small for a gravel setup,Unless you dont wanna pedal on descent,38T is the most ideal and you can conpensate your gear ratio in the cassette option,My 1x setup previously is 44T front and 11-46 rear,but I changed to 40T front and so perfect and still have a little on the higher end gear, I still one more option to 38T front if the legs still complaining.but depends on your RD low end capacity but there’s an extender option that you can buy..
Post #15 of 17. Posted by Ed on 17-May-2020 15:50:10 GMT in reply to post #6 [22224<--22233]
OPEN
https://youtu.b...R9A
I
know that is no help with the front chainring, but but at least you can stick to Shimano STIs with an XTR di2 rear derailleur.
The following link is 2 years old, and he had to to adjust the bolt contact ends of the chainring:
https://youtu.b...fnNw4
Post #14 of 17. Posted by Nik on 17-May-2020 15:26:56 GMT in reply to post #4 [22222<--22232]
OPEN
Hi Joe, I will look at that Monday and send you a mail with that information.
Post #9 of 17. Posted by Andy Kessler on 16-May-2020 10:36:13 GMT in reply to post #3 [22221<--22227]
OPEN
Wow that whole suspension thing came out of left field ??
Post #5 of 17. Posted by Ian on 15-May-2020 14:21:19 GMT in reply to blog [0<--22223]
OPEN
Hi Ian, I would never say something if I would not have tried myself. For me the beauty of a gravel bike or at least our bikes are that they ride like road bikes. So you go out of the saddle and sprint and acceleration and handling are part of the fun. I have tested forks such as Lauf, Fox and others. I am not saying they are not good for some people but for me they kill the fun as they are either to heavy or then not stiff laterally for cornering especially on the road...
Post #11 of 17. Posted by Andy Kessler on 16-May-2020 10:41:14 GMT in reply to post #5 [22223<--22229]
OPEN
Hi Andy, I'm not saying I don't agree with you. I appreciate your feed back. For me the extra suspension, even if it was only 20mm is the faff (torment) of something else to maintain or go wrong. I've tried it on the road and yes, cornering isn't as precise. Enjoy the ride and stay safe :-)
Post #13 of 17. Posted by Ian on 17-May-2020 05:32:09 GMT in reply to post #11 [22229<--22231]
OPEN
The bike looks impressive. I am a road/gravel rider (70% Road). Would this be a bike to consider for me by switching the 35 mm tires with 25 or 28 to convert between road/gravel?
Post #7 of 17. Posted by Murat Ilter on 16-May-2020 02:43:51 GMT in reply to blog [0<--22225]
OPEN
Hi Murat, yes I definitely think this would work very well for you. I would even keep something like a 32mm tire. A lot of people are afraid about bigger tires on the road but the rolling resistance is not much bigger if tyre pressure is set correctly but comfort and freedom increase big time
Post #10 of 17. Posted by Andy Kessler on 16-May-2020 10:38:24 GMT in reply to post #7 [22225<--22228]
OPEN
Surprised you went for a 140mm rotor as Sram does not recommend them and the WI.DE does not even accept them ? amazing bike otherwise ;)
Post #12 of 17. Posted by Xav on 16-May-2020 14:24:35 GMT in reply to blog [0<--22230]
OPEN
Hi Andy,
It is my understanding that one can purchase an OPEN bike either from one of your dealers or by ordering the frame from you & buying components to build it yourself.
Is this correct?
Re gearing I am thinking of Shimano Ultegra Di2 2x11? You have used one chainring in the front. YOur comments are welcome.
Post #16 of 17. Posted by Murat Ilter on 22-May-2020 03:01:04 GMT in reply to blog [0<--22240]
OPEN
Hi Murat, I personally am a big fan of single front ring as it simplifies shifting a lot. Yes direct or dealers we have no preference for that. Just let me know if you want to buy trough a dealer then I can connect you to a good one. Stay healthy.
Andy
Post #17 of 17. Posted by Andy Kessler on 22-May-2020 07:49:04 GMT in reply to post #16 [22240<--22241]
Content
From:
To: